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Parenting Tip: Leave Dad Alone
You know what kinda drives me crazy? The somewhat condescending tone I hear a lot of moms using to describe dads’ parenting aptitude. Here’s the deal — I’m not really the Susan B. Anthony type, so I’m not gonna pound the table and scream FOUL! Instead, I’m just gonna say this:
My kids sure aren’t scared to be alone with their dad.
It’s funny — I got a recent comment that implied that I never change diapers. Guess what? I’ve got five kids, including a baby and a set of five-year-old triplets. Odds are I’ve changed more diapers than you. In fact, it’s probably not even close. And I’m not looking for a medal because I’ve already gotten my reward. A zillion of them, in fact. Precisely why there’s nothing I cherish more than my role as an emotionally available, 100% plugged in father. One who does a bit more than the piggy back rides, thank you very much.
Which why I love to bathe the triplets. Or double check to make sure they brushed good. With five kids, it may take a spreadsheet sometimes, but believe you me, I know darn well who all gets what medicine and when.
Dinner? Not a problem. Breakfast? Obviously. Hang tight till I finish giving Luke this banana and I’ll be right with y’all.
Let’s get one thing straight. The above does NOT make me Mr. Mom. It makes me Mr. Dad.
Let’s get another thing straight. My wife helped make it happen. Because she had good enough sense early on to realize something: EVERYONE’S life will be better if you stand back and leave Dad alone.
She’s never once told me that I’m doing something “wrong.” She’s never once complained about my (admittedly different) “techniques.” You know what she probably thought, instead? No wonder he does it differently than I do. He’s a man and I’m a woman. I don’t know too many things that men and woman do the exact same way.
And thank goodness she’s never insisted that I do things like her. Because no offense, ladies, but the last thing I’d ever wanna do is imitate you.
I’d way rather be me, instead.
I don’t mean to harp, and if you’ve got a deal going on where you do 95% of the care-taking work — fantastic. Hope that’s going well for you. Your child sure does have an active mom.
Too bad he doesn’t have an active dad, though. I mean, wouldn’t it be nice to have a Sunday afternoon all to yourself?
I love Sundays. Typically, none of my children have any sporting obligations that day which means I have the entire afternoon to hang with my crew. A chance to give my wife a break. I love taking my junior associates out to eat. I have zero problem parlaying those meals with a trip to the supermarket. I usually go to the one closest to Blue Ridge Mountain Sports. You know, so I can check out some new trekking poles while my kids marvel at all the cool tents that are set up on the showroom floor.
Everyone wins on these beautiful days.
Including the woman who sits at home, happily reading and waiting for her noisy clan to come back.
The one who had good enough sense to get out of my way so I could figure it all out. She knew I would.
And I did.